Aniseh Makhlouf, mother of Syria's Assad, dies

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Syria's presidency says Aniseh Makhlouf, the mother of Syrian President Bashar Assad, has died. She was 86.

A statement on the presidency's official Facebook page says Makhlouf, the wife of the late President Hafez Assad, died Saturday in Damascus.

Makhlouf was born in 1930 to a powerful and wealthy family from the coastal province of Latakia. She married Hafez in 1957 and rarely appeared in public after he became president in 1971.

Her nephew, Rami Makhlouf, is one of Syria's most prominent businessmen. He controls the mobile phone network and other lucrative enterprises, and the protesters behind the 2011 uprising saw him as a symbol of corruption.